Pigs Can’t Fly
by Wallace Edwards
Scholastic Canada; 2023
$21.99, 27 pp, ages 4 – 8
In this magical, imaginative book, common animals do the seemingly impossible. Pigs fly, penguins ride bikes, mice juggle, and turtles chew. With muted backgrounds and strong colours, the author provides humorous pictures of animals in crazy situations that make one laugh. Using simple rhymes, the author invites the reader to stretch their imaginations and think about the boundless possibilities that lie behind familiar adages like “Pigs can’t fly!” or “The cow jumped over the moon.” The author shows you what it might look like if pigs could fly or cows could jump over the moon. Ending with a message about love that will “see you through,” this book invites children to picture fantastical events, and seems to convey the loving acceptance we have for flights of fancy in the people we care for.
Classroom Connections: Pigs Can’t Fly, Frogs don’t play the bagpipes! What other animals can you think of that can’t do something that humans do, and could you draw a picture that would illustrate this fact? Children will need to think in an imaginative, fanciful way to come up with their own illustrations of animals and what they can’t or won’t do, using their knowledge of science. Learning from the artistry of Wallace Edwards, asking students to similarly use their drawing space to provide a background, strong colours, and a large illustration of their particular animal doing their fanciful task would help develop good artistic strategy. Having students create a four-line stanza of their animal performing their unusual task would be challenging but a worthwhile activity as well.
Review by Betty Schultze.
This review is featured in Canadian Teacher Magazine’s Winter 2024 issue.